After a solid season as a reliable slot receiver, Adam Humphries’ improbable NFL journey took yet another turn on Monday when Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter rewarded his efforts by naming him the team’s starting slot receiver.
“Let’s just end the big mystery about this No. 3 wide receiver, okay?” Koetter said. “Adam Humphries is going to be our No. 3 wide receiver. You talk about the definition of a consistent player, there’s Adam Humphries’ picture right there. Consistently strong player, so Adam’s going to be our slot receiver. The battle for four, five, six and beyond, there’s some really good competition and it could be any of the guys in that mix.”
Koetter also said that Humphries has evolved enough as a receiver to play outside if necessary, but that his strength is inside at the slot position due to his quickness and route-running ability.
“Adam can play outside – he did so last year,” Koetter said. “The great thing about Adam is you know he doesn’t need reps out there. He’s not ideal as an outside guy, but football players come in all shapes and sizes and he’s no different.”
While pleased with the news after practice, the humble Humphries took the starting assignment in stride.
Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“It’s good to hear from the head man, but I was just thinking that a year ago I was the number 12 [receiver],” Humphries said. “It’s early in camp, so I have to keep grinding every day and earning that spot every day. It can always change.
“I’m going to keep working and trying to be that reliable slot receiver that I want to be.”
Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans says that Humphries earned the job.
“He brings a lot,” Evans said. “He’s versatile. He can play inside and out. He’s tough. He goes hard every play. He was the third receiver last year, you guys saw him. He made plays, sure-handed guy, and he knows how to get open.
“We call him “First Down Hump” because he made a lot of first downs last year. It’s very difficult inside. On the outside looking in, you don’t know how much work he puts in, but he puts a lot of work in to run those difficult routes.”
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who often looked for Humphries to convert third downs last year, was excited for the second-year receiver.
“I’m not surprised by that at all,” Winston said. “Adam is a great player for us, a third-down machine for us. He’s had a great camp and last year he was one of my best targets. You think about the first play of the year (Winston’s pick-six against Tennessee on a pass intended for Humphries), me and that guy bounced back from that quickly and had a great season together.
“I know Coach Koetter trusts him and the whole team trusts him. That’s a big thing for him. I’m pretty sure when he hears that he’s going to work even harder.”
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Humphries made the team as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson last year when he was brought in as a try-out player. Known affectionately as “Hump” by his teammates, the former Tigers star didn’t have more than 41 catches for 500 yards in any season at Clemson.
But he made a solid impression in the preseason last year with nine catches for 139 yards and a touchdown, which came at Miami in the preseason finale. Humphries saw action in 13 games last year, primarily in the slot where he caught 27 passes for 260 yards (9.6 avg.) and a touchdown.
Humphries is also in the running to be Tampa Bay’s punt returner this fall with the departure of Bobby Rainey, who wasn’t re-signed in the offseason.
“It’s something I did for three years at Clemson, so whatever the decision is, I’m fine with it,” Humphries said. “I’m just trying to win a spot on this 53 [man roster].”
PewterReport.com gave its readers insight into how highly the Bucs’ coaches and personnel department thought of Humphries and his chances of winning both the slot receiver duties and the punt return duties during the offseason in the June 17 edition of SR’s Fab 5.
Scott Reynolds is in his 22nd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
Great news! This kid is special.
Sounds good to me. He reminds me of Wanye “flashlight” Chervet. You got to love NFL nicknames. He should be pretty tough guy having the nickname Hump.
The connotations of the word hump crack me up.
Hump as a pile of of dirt?
Hump as a sexual act?
Hump as a physical abnormities?
Hump as ” get over the” ?
As the late great Marty Feldman said “what hump”.
There is also a day named after him, “hump” day! 🙂
Hump, as to carry the load. Very fitting.
well damn kenny!
Kenny Bell is more of an outside receiver. Progress this year leads to promotion to the #2 WR spot next year if VJax retires.
Who says the American dream is over? Well, I guess we all know the answer to that.
But Humphries, like most American’s know all he has to do is rely on his own hard work and talents to succeed and not put all of his trust in a con man to solve all of his problems for him.
Somehow you know even after winning the job, Humprhies won’t rest on his laurels but will continue to work hard and strive to get better every day.
Damn, Hump rhymes with Trump. Bummer
Ive been to 3 practices so far andhe has stood out at every one of them if you ask me. He seems to just have a swagger about him and looks like he is the man when out on the field. I personally think he my have the best hands on the team. Im glad he has earned the spot. He definitely rounds out this WR corp and makes it a true 1-2-3 punch. Between all three guys any given pass can be a first down guven VJAX & Evans yards per catch numbers. Humphries’ stats on catches for first downs are just outstanding and impressive. Lets hope that trend continues.
He proved himself last year and was the most proven option at slot this year with Murphy out. No big surprise here.
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